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Neurology ; 95(24): e3373-e3385, 2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050484


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the hypothesis that strokes occurring in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have distinctive features, we investigated stroke risk, clinical phenotypes, and outcomes in this population. METHODS: We performed a systematic search resulting in 10 studies reporting stroke frequency among patients with COVID-19, which were pooled with 1 unpublished series from Canada. We applied random-effects meta-analyses to estimate the proportion of stroke among COVID-19. We performed an additional systematic search for cases series of stroke in patients with COVID-19 (n = 125), and we pooled these data with 35 unpublished cases from Canada, the United States, and Iran. We analyzed clinical characteristics and in-hospital mortality stratified into age groups (<50, 50-70, >70 years). We applied cluster analyses to identify specific clinical phenotypes and their relationship with death. RESULTS: The proportions of patients with COVID-19 with stroke (1.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9%-3.7%) and in-hospital mortality (34.4%, 95% CI 27.2%-42.4%) were exceedingly high. Mortality was 67% lower in patients <50 years of age relative to those >70 years of age (odds ratio [OR] 0.33, 95% CI 0.12-0.94, p = 0.039). Large vessel occlusion was twice as frequent (46.9%) as previously reported and was high across all age groups, even in the absence of risk factors or comorbid conditions. A clinical phenotype characterized by older age, a higher burden of comorbid conditions, and severe COVID-19 respiratory symptoms was associated with the highest in-hospital mortality (58.6%) and a 3 times higher risk of death than the rest of the cohort (OR 3.52, 95% CI 1.53-8.09, p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Stroke is relatively frequent among patients with COVID-19 and has devastating consequences across all ages. The interplay of older age, comorbid conditions, and severity of COVID-19 respiratory symptoms is associated with an extremely elevated mortality.

COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Hospital Mortality/trends , Phenotype , Stroke/mortality , Stroke/physiopathology , Humans , Mortality/trends , Risk Factors
Can J Neurol Sci ; 47(5): 693-696, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-378126


We assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic on code stroke activations in the emergency department, stroke unit admissions, and referrals to the stroke prevention clinic at London's regional stroke center, serving a population of 1.8 million in Ontario, Canada. We found a 20% drop in the number of code strokes in 2020 compared to 2019, immediately after the first cases of COVID-19 were officially confirmed. There were no changes in the number of stroke admissions and there was a 22% decrease in the number of clinic referrals, only after the provincial lockdown. Our findings suggest that the decrease in code strokes was mainly driven by patient-related factors such as fear to be exposed to the SARS-CoV-2, while the reduction in clinic referrals was largely explained by hospital policies and the Government lockdown.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation/trends , Stroke/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/therapy